Four firms plead guilty in alleged $15m fraud by Jonathan’s ex-aide

By Ikenga Chronicles September 16, 2016

Joseph Onyekwere and Godwin Dunia

Four companies implicated in a $15 million fraud case involving a former aide to former President Goodluck Jonathan, Waripamo Owei-Dudafa, have pleaded guilty to the charge at the Federal High Court, Lagos.

When the case was called yesterday, the four companies announced their representatives as follows: Friday David, for Pluto Properties and Investment Company and Agbor Obaro for Sea gate Property Development Company.

Also, Fredrick Dioghowori announced his representation for Trans Ocean Property Ltd, while Taiwo Ebenezer represented Avalon Global properties Ltd. Others also docked alongside Dudafa are Amajuoyi Briggs, and Adedamola Bolodeoku.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) charged them on 15 counts bordering on conspiracy and fraud at the court presided over by Justice Babs Kuewumi.

After the charge was read, the first, second and third accused pleaded not guilty to all counts of the charge. However, each of the four individuals representing the companies listed in the charge pleaded guilty to the offences.

The counsel to Dudafa objected to the guilty pleas of the companies, on the grounds that there was no letter from the companies indicating they were directors.

Following the guilty plea of the companies, EFCC prosecution led by Mr. Rotimi Oyedepo, prayed the court to allow a short time for the review of the facts, adding that he would not waste time. But Justice Kuewumi declined the prosecution’s request, adding that he would adjourn to a further date.

The counsel representing the second and third accused, Messrs Tochukwu Onyiuke, and Joseph Okebiemen informed the court of a bail application filed on behalf of their clients, adding that it had not been opposed. He urged the court to admit the accused to bail on liberal terms.

The counsel representing the first accused, Mr. Gboyega Oyewole, also informed the court that his client was already on bail on existing conditions granted by a brother judge, and urged the court to allow him enjoy the same bail standing.

However, Justice Kuewumi who did not grant bail to the first accused, ordered him to file a formal application for it before the court.The court granted bail to the second and third accused in the sum of N250 million with one surety in like sum.

The judge added that the sureties must be owners of landed property in Lagos and if a public servant, such a surety must produce a letter of introduction from his employer. He also ordered the sureties to submit evidence of tax clearance.

He adjourned the case to September 27 for continuation and ordered the accused to be remanded in prison custody pending the perfection of their bail.

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